1904 Croft & Allen Physical Culture and Exercises (E249) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Croft & Allen Physical Culture and Exercises (E249)
Year 1904
Size 2″ x 4″ (approximate, with coupon)
Images Color
Type Candy and Caramel
Number in Set

1904 Croft & Allen Physical Culture and Exercises (E249) Set Overview

These rare early candy cards were among the first in the 20th century to depict physical exercise.

The cards were issued by Croft & Allen. That name may sound familiar to collectors of early baseball cards as, a few years after this set, Croft also issued the E92 set through their Croft Candy and Croft Cocoa products.

Each card features a color depiction of a generic male subject clad in blue and white performing an exercise. As was the case with some other exercise cards, line drawings of body parts also appear to depict the movement of the activity being performed

Fronts include color pictures against a yellow-orange background. Uniquely, the cards had gray borders along with a card number.

While many of the cards found today do not have a coupon attached, the full cards issued had a coupon printed at the bottom. Coupons on the cards could be sent to the distributor for a booklet called “Dr. U.S. Manuel’s Course of Physical Culture.” The booklet included the same color depictions as found on the cards. Croft & Allen stated that the booklet explained the exercises in such detail that it was the equivalent of roughly a $20 exercise course.

The booklet could be obtained in three different ways:

  • Sending in one coupon and ten cents in postage
  • Sending in five coupons and five cents in postage
  • Sending in ten coupons and two cents in postage

Backs included that information as well as the Croft & Allen name with an indication that their company was located in Philadelphia. Croft’s Swiss Milk Chocolate, presumably how these cards were issued, was mentioned on the backs for a total of five cents per package. Backs also mentioned that Croft’s was the only cocoa product hygienically packed inside o glass.

1904 Croft & Allen Physical Culture and Exercises (E249) Set Checklist

The cards in this set are not titled and only identified by the word ‘Exercise’ and a card number. Thus, the basic checklist is as follows:

  1. Exercise #1
  2. Exercise #2
  3. Exercise #3
  4. Exercise #4
  5. Exercise #5
  6. Exercise #6
  7. Exercise #7
  8. Exercise #8
  9. Exercise #9
  10. Exercise #10
  11. Exercise #11
  12. Exercise #12
  13. Exercise #13
  14. Exercise #14
  15. Exercise #15

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